WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. Department of the Interior said on Thursday it would hold a record-sized auction for oil and gas leases in the Gulf of Mexico next month, in an attempt to spark interest in offshore drilling months after a similar sale received a weak response from energy companies.
The sale, to be held on Aug. 15, includes all available unleased areas in federal waters of the Gulf of Mexico in about 78 million acres (31.5 million hectares) off Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Florida. It is the third sale in the agency’s 2017-2022 program, which aims to hold 10 sales in all.
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The sale is part of what the Interior Department calls President Donald Trump’s America-First Offshore Energy Strategy. Vincent DeVito, an adviser to Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke, said the sale “is just one piece of the administration’s comprehensive effort to secure our nation’s energy future.”
The last Gulf of Mexico lease sale, held in March, brought in only $124.8 million, as...
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